Brazilian agency Star Models sponsored a creepy series of anti-anorexia ads that feature a fashion sketch next to a real human Photoshopped to have the same proportions (eek). The message could be interpreted in several ways, none of which are terribly helpful in the overall scheme of preventing eating disorders:
1. Designers should help fight anorexia by making their sketches with healthier proportions.
2. People should not idealize fashion sketches — or models, for that matter.
3. GOOD GOD THOSE GIRLS LOOK AWFUL. SKINNIER IS NOT BETTER.
It’s the standard blame-game: Designers complain that model agencies only sign really thin girls, while modeling agencies say that designers only make tiny sample sizes. Whose fault is it that fashion imagery consists overwhelmingly of abnormally tall, extremely slender people? It’s not clear cut.
It’s also unclear whether these ads, which were posted on Copyranter today, are meant to target girls who are already models or just normal, non-model women. If it’s the latter, they could just as easily juxtapose a picture of a runway model next to one of the average female and change “YOU ARE NOT A SKETCH” to “YOU ARE NOT A MODEL.” But no modeling agency is going to do that, obviously, because then everyone looks bad — including the normal woman. And thus, the villain is everyone and no one, and the relationship between the fashion industry and distorted body image remains at a stalemate.